Bulgaria’s Food Safety Agency is starting large-scale check-ups of cooking oil used at catering establishments, according to Agriculture and Food Minister Miroslav Naidenov, who also has pledged check-ups of food sales by hawkers at the country’s beaches this summer 2012 season.
Naidenov said that the checks on cooking oil were “this season’s novelty”. He said that in recent years, food safety inspectors had checked hygiene, food origin requirements and storage conditions, but this summer the scope of inspections was being expanded.
He said that there had been many reports that some catering establishments in Bulgaria were using the same cooking oil for fish, then for French fries and rissoles.
This was “absolutely unacceptable” and a risk to public health, Naidenov said.
There would be a particular focus on establishments along Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast, and inspectors would be taking a strict approach, he said.
Naidenov said that he would be checking up on food sales on beaches.
In Bulgaria, it is common practice for vendors to wander beaches on foot, hawking boiled corn and fried pastries.
Naidenov said that if irregularities were found, the beach concessionaires would be held responsible.
“Those tough guys who collect for the money for beach umbrellas should be so good as to chase away the people with the bags, otherwise they’ll be paying the fines,” Naidenov said, according to local media reports.
“If we want to have a reputation as a perfect European destination, the sight of those swarthy fellows who go around selling corn, sunflowers and whatnot on the beach should disappear,” he was quoted as saying.